WIRRAL Council is facing a “potentially catastrophic situation” with a budget deficit which could reach £50m this year and morale at “rock bottom” according to Labour.
Opposition group leader Steve Foulkes’s concerns are outlined in an open letter sent to the authority’s interim Chief Executive, Jim Wilkie, calling on him to act now to deal with the problems faced by the council.
The former council leader said the authority had lost a number of senior staff in the last six months, as well as more than 1,600 who have said they want to take redundancy or early retirement.
The council is still awaiting the decision of the Government on how much it will have to spend – and the Labour leader said the current situation could get worse.
In his letter to Mr Wilkie, Cllr Foulkes said: “Morale in the council is at rock bottom.
“The council’s budget shortfall now stands at £33m and you and I both know that this gap could actually increase significantly when the local government settlement is announced.
“By December we could well be facing a gap of £40m, or even, God forbid, £50m on a worst-case scenario.
“This is a truly frightening and potentially catastrophic situation.“